Kidd, William

known as Captain Kidd

born с 1645, Greenock, Renfrew, Scot.
died May 23, 1701, London, Eng.

British privateer and pirate.

He was sailing as a legitimate privateer for Britain when he was commissioned in 1695 to apprehend pirates who molested the ships of the East India Company. He himself turned pirate on the voyage, took several ships, and mortally wounded his gunner, William Moore. He surrendered in New York in 1699, having been promised a pardon. Sent to England for trial, he was found guilty of Moore's murder and five piracy counts, and he was hanged. Some of his treasure was recovered from Gardiners Island (off Long Island), but much has apparently never been found. After his death he attained semilegendary status and was romanticized as a dashing swashbuckler.

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▪ British pirate
born c. 1645, , Greenock, Renfrew, Scot.
died May 23, 1701, London

      17th-century British privateer and semilegendary pirate who became celebrated in English literature as one of the most colourful outlaws of all time. Fortune seekers have hunted his buried treasure in vain through succeeding centuries.

 Kidd's early career is obscure. It is believed he went to sea as a youth. After 1689 he was sailing as a legitimate privateer for Great Britain against the French in the West Indies and off the coast of North America. In 1690 he was an established sea captain and shipowner in New York City, where he owned property; at various times he was dispatched by both New York and Massachusetts to rid the coast of enemy privateers. In London in 1695, he received a royal commission to apprehend pirates who molested the ships of the East India Company in the Red Sea and in the Indian Ocean.

      Kidd sailed from Deptford on his ship, the Adventure Galley, on Feb. 27, 1696, called at Plymouth, and arrived at New York City on July 4 to take on more men. Avoiding the normal pirate haunts, he arrived by February 1697 at the Comoro Islands off East Africa. It was apparently some time after his arrival there that Kidd, still without having taken a prize ship, decided to turn to piracy. In August 1697 he made an unsuccessful attack on ships sailing with Mocha coffee from Yemen but later took several small ships. His refusal two months later to attack a Dutch ship nearly brought his crew to mutiny, and in an angry exchange Kidd mortally wounded his gunner, William Moore.

      Kidd took his most valuable prize, the Armenian ship Quedagh Merchant, in January 1698 and scuttled his own unseaworthy Adventure Galley. When he reached Anguilla, in the West Indies (April 1699), he learned that he had been denounced as a pirate. He left the Quedagh Merchant at the island of Hispaniola (where the ship was possibly scuttled; in any case, it disappeared with its questionable booty) and sailed in a newly purchased ship, the Antonio, to New York City, where he tried to persuade the earl of Bellomont, then colonial governor of New York, of his innocence. Bellomont, however, sent him to England for trial, and he was found guilty (May 8 and 9, 1701) of the murder of Moore and on five indictments of piracy. Important evidence concerning two of the piracy cases was suppressed at the trial, and some observers later questioned whether the evidence was sufficient for a guilty verdict.

      Kidd was hanged, and some of his treasure was recovered from Gardiners Island off Long Island. Proceeds from his effects and goods taken from the Antonio were donated to charity. In years that followed, the name of Captain Kidd has become inseparable from the romanticized concept of the swashbuckling pirate of Western fiction. Among other stories concerning caches of treasure he supposedly buried is Edgar Allan Poe's “The Gold Bug.”

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Kidd,William — Kidd (kĭd), William. Known as “Captain Kidd.” 1645? 1701. British sea captain who turned to piracy after being hired to protect British ships in the Indian Ocean (1696). His cruelty and undiscovered buried treasure, although unsubstantiated,… …   Universalium

  • Kidd, William — llamado Capitán Kidd ( 1645, Greenock, Renfrew, Escocia–23 may. 1701, Londres, Inglaterra). Corsario y pirata británico. Navegaba con patente de corso para Gran Bretaña cuando se le encomendó en 1695 capturar a los piratas que acosaban a las… …   Enciclopedia Universal

  • KIDD, WILLIAM —    a noted pirate, born of Covenanting parents at Greenock; went to sea early, and served in privateering expeditions with distinction; appointed to the command of a privateer about 1696, and commissioned to suppress the pirates of the Indian… …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • William Kidd — (* 1645 in Greenock; † 23. Mai 1701 in London) war ein schottisch amerikanischer Pirat. Inhaltsverzeichnis 1 Leb …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • William Moore — is the name of: * William Moore (pirate) (d. 1697), murdered by Captain Kidd * William Moore (statesman) (c.1735 1793), jurist and politician; President (i.e. Governor) of Pennsylvania, 1781 1782 * William Moore (British mathematician) (fl.… …   Wikipedia

  • William Kidd — Infobox Pirate name=William Kidd lived=c. 1645 – May 23, 1701 caption=William Kidd nickname= type=Privateer placeofbirth= Greenock, Scotland placeofdeath= Wapping, England allegiance= Kingdom of England serviceyears= base of operations= rank=… …   Wikipedia

  • William Kidd — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Kidd. William Kidd Surnom Capitaine Kidd Naissance …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Kidd — /kid/, n. 1. Michael, born 1919, U.S. dancer and choreographer. 2. William ( Captain Kidd ), 1645? 1701, Scottish navigator and privateer: hanged for piracy. * * * (as used in expressions) Kidd Michael Kidd William Captain Kidd * * * …   Universalium

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